Do you know that moment in the story of Easter when Jesus is on the cross and people are making fun of him?
The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. "Ha! Look at you now!" they yelled at him. "You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross!" Mark 15:29-30
Everyone seemed to join in...
The leading priests and teachers of the religious law also mocked Jesus. "He saved others," they scoffed, "but he can't save himself! Let this Messiah, this King of Israel, come down from the cross so we can see it and believe him!" Even the men who were crucified with Jesus ridiculed him." Mark 15:31-32
And they did...
One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, "So you're the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself - and us, too, while you're at it!" Luke 23:39
Can you imagine how Jesus felt hearing those words? I mean, he WAS the Messiah, and he COULD have saved himself. But he didn't.
Why? He chose to submit.
To submit means to do what someone else wants. You submit to your mom when you follow her directions and clean up your room. You submit to your teacher when you turn in your assignment on time. You submit to your coach when you play second base, just like he asked.
Why do you submit?
Well, one reason to submit is because you respect the person giving the directions and you want to please that person. But, you also know that you might get in trouble if you do not submit. You might lose screen time if you don't clean up your room. You might get a bad grade if you don't turn in that homework on time. You might not get to play at all if you argue with the coach because you want to play first base instead.
You submit because your parents, teachers, and coaches all have authority over you. God has put them in that position so they can give you consequences if you do not follow their directions.
But you need to know something about Jesus. He didn't submit to dying on the cross because someone had authority over him. Jesus was God. No one had authority over him.
But he still submitted. He submitted out of love.
You see, God wants us to submit to the people in authority over us. But he also wants us to submit to the people who are not in authority over us. He wants us to show them the kind of love Jesus has for all of us, the kind of love that does what someone else wants or what someone else needs no matter what it costs.
Check out the Read, Make, and Take activities below and see what you can do this week to submit...out of love for someone else.
Read 1 Corinthians 16:13-18
This passage of scripture is part of a letter written by a man named Paul to a group of Christians living in a city called Corinth. Where in this passage does Paul encourage the Christians to submit? To whom does he ask them to submit? Based on his description, what does Paul think it looks like to submit to someone? How is submitting a way to love someone?
Write down your favorite verse from this passage (1 Corinthians 16:13-18) like you are Paul writing a letter. You can use fancy paper or plain paper. You can use fancy writing or keep it simple. You can roll it up like a scroll, fold it and seal it with a sticker or tape, or put it in an envelope. You can even share it with someone else, if you like!
Find an opportunity this week to submit to someone who is not in authority over you. It could be a friend or classmate, a brother or sister, or anyone about your age. Play a game that person wants to play, even if you don't like it. Or, watch a show that person wants to watch, even if you don't like it. As you submit, remember Jesus and know that you are loving someone like he does.